SpaceX is to land its upcoming rocket on terra firma.
Two of the landings were at sea and they failed desperately. The next Falcon 9 rocket landing by SpaceX will take place at Cape Canaveral. Therefore, solid ground or terra firma is the goal this time around.
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If all goes well, then this would mark the first time a landing went smoothly. The recovery of the rocket would be a big relief for SpaceX which is used to such landing failures on a regular basis.
This next landing on solid ground is due on December 15th. It will mark the first time a mission will take place since the June project which ended in the rocket exploding mid-air while on its way to the ISS. SpaceX is in competition with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins.
Blue Origins has already launched and landed a rocket. NASA has affirmed the fact that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket landing will take place at Cape Canaveral. This will essentially be the first stage in the employment of reusable rockets for commercial space trips.
Most rocket shells are meant for a single time use only. When the rocket makes its way through space, its fuel compartments are discarded as they become useless one by one. Thus constructing a novel rocket each time a space voyage takes place is a costly procedure alright.
Therefore, the employment of reusable rockets ought to be given some serious thought. Reusable rockets are efficient and economical. SpaceX uses retro-rockets and thrusters in its space launch vehicles.
But the problem is the landing protocol where Murphy’s Law applies in its strictest form. Anything that can go wrong simply will in this delicate process of landing the rocket in a systematic way.
So SpaceX’s choice to launch and land its reusable rocket from and at Cape Canaveral is a timely decision. If this time around it again ends in failure than it will be a severe blow to the reputation of SpaceX. The clientele will be displeased.
Meanwhile, success will be a boost for the company and a feather in its hat. The $70 to $80 million price that is normally paid to launch and land a Falcon 9 rocket will be slashed as a result.
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The Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral has been rented by SpaceX for the express purpose of landing its future rocket. Everything therefore ultimately depends on the care exercised by SpaceX this time around.